Rare Diseases Symptoms Automatic Extraction

Adrenal disorders in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected patients.

[adrenal incidentaloma]

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection is associated with adrenal disorders, which must not be underestimated. Adrenal morphologic changes are primarily related to opportunistic infections, mostly by cytomegalovirus and mycobacteria, and malignant tumours such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Kaposi's sarcoma. The most frequent biological alteration reported to date is the increases in cortisol concentrations which results from a decrease in cortisol metabolism and hyperactivity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis commonly referred to as pseudo-Cushing's syndrome. These modifications can be a consequence of antiretroviral therapy and do not require any investigation or specific treatment. Conversely, adrenal insufficiency, either iatrogenic or secondary to glandular infiltration by neoplasms or infections, needs long-term substitution with hydrocortisone, but at present occurs more rarely and usually at late stages of disease progression. The impact of HIV infection on the other adrenocortical functions has been less reported in the literature although several studies show low levels of adrenal androgens, especially dehydroepiandrostenedione (DHEA). Impairment in mineralocorticoid function appears occasional and remains a subject of debate.

Diseases presenting "which must not be underestimated" symptom

  • adrenal incidentaloma

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